Reclaim Your Funds from the Bank as a Victim of Fraud
There is a great example of third-party liability we have discussed many times. If you have been the victim of a scam, fraud, or Ponzi scheme, you may find that the primary fraudster who scammed you out of your money only has a portion of your money to give back. Through the entire asset search and recovery investigation process, you may be able to recover 40 to 50 cents or even 60 cents on the dollar in some cases. However, you may still be short, and the question becomes how this will be resolved.
Like many fraud cases, the most money that comes to victims, such as in the Bernie Madoff case or the Scott Ross case, comes from third parties. Even if they were not directly involved with the scam, these third parties enabled the fraudster to take your money. These third parties could be a bank, an attorney, an advertising company, a marketing company, or employees who allowed the scammer to do as much damage as they did. Therefore, discovering which third parties enabled the scammer to take your money is a crucial part of any investigation.
For example, there was a $7 billion Ponzi scheme where victims were short $1.2 billion, and TD Bank, which was involved with this, had to pay out. While this bank did not commit the scam, it opened up bank accounts for the scammer. They may not have known that this person was committing fraud or doing a Ponzi scheme, but they may not have performed enough due diligence or missed some paperwork when they let the scammer open the accounts. There will always be some deficiency that the third party did unknowingly that allowed the scam to become bigger, extend, or last longer, and this is where third-party liability comes in.
Therefore, when investigating a scam, checking out these third parties is crucial because they may owe you money. Unlike scammers, third parties are not hiding their assets, and banks cannot hide their assets. They have real estate and all other assets out in plain sight. Many of these third parties have insurance policies such as Arizona Missions insurance or professional liability insurance if they are accountants or attorneys. If they have third-party liability, these policies will immediately pay out if they are discovered to have liability.
If you are a victim of any kind of fraud, be sure to include the observation of third-party liability in your investigation, legal action, and research to ensure that you are not left in the dark and get all the money that you lost in the scam. Remember that we are not attorneys, and this is not legal advice, but many of our client’s attorneys will look at this for their clients to make sure they get all the money owed to them. If a banker, accountant, or law firm did not do their due diligence and let the scammer get away with taking your money, they owe it back to you.